Business Owners, Residents Express Disappointment Over Lack of Communication on Food Truck Bylaw

(Photo credit: Amy Funk, owner and chef of Shore Lunch Food Truck)

Dozens of people showed up to Lunenburg Town Hall on Tuesday, April 11 to voice concerns to Town Council about a controversial vending bylaw. 

So many locals attended the meeting that about thirty people stood in the hallway outside the packed room where the meeting took place.

This was the second reading of a change to the town’s vending bylaw which would allow seven food trucks to operate in Lunenburg in various locations.

Katherine Eisenhauer, owner of the Savvy Sailor Café, said she was disappointed that Town Council did not reach out to business owners to get their opinions about this matter. 

Many business owners and residents shared this sentiment. Of the 21 speakers who voiced their concerns at the meeting, most mentioned a complete lack of communication from the Town Council.

Amy Funk is the owner and chef of Shore Lunch Food Truck. Funk describes her business as a sustainable operation: the food truck is powered by a lithium battery and solar panels. The takeout materials are compostable. Funk cooks with fresh ingredients grown by local farmers. Funk spoke of a proposal she submitted to the Town Council last year to change the vending by-law.

“In that proposal, I suggested that the town include myself, and other members of the local culinary industry, in their discussions about the vending bylaw during its construction, so that we could all plan it properly,” Funk said, addressing the Council. “This was not done, and what you see before you is the aftermath of that decision.”

After the speakers wrapped up their remarks, members of the Town Council agreed that the proposed bylaw could use some work.

“From my point of view, I don’t feel like this is fully-baked,” said councillor Ed Halverson.

Councillor Susan Sanford expressed confusion about how the seven food truck sites were decided on. She also lamented the communication breakdown that occurred. “We’re all keen to have transparency,” she said. “We didn’t get this right, this time.”

Sanford mentioned a PAC (Planning Advisory Committee) meeting on February 27 during which the bylaw was discussed. “I only had two people show up for the PAC committee about the vending by-law, and neither person spoke publicly,” she said. According to the meeting minutes, only one citizen representative was present at the meeting (the other’s name was listed but was noted as absent).

The Town Council approved a first reading of this vending bylaw on February 28th. In a video of this meeting, the subject was discussed for approximately forty-five seconds before councillors voted unanimously in favor of the motion to pass the first reading of the by-law. There was no discussion during the first reading.

Under Council Highlights on the town’s website, an update about the proposed bylaw reads: “Council postponed making a decision on a new proposed Vending By-law and directed staff to make several edits.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *